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Michigan Republicans sue to block new congressional maps

Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission
Michigan's new congressional district map was approved by the Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission.

A group of Michigan Republicans, including some current and former state representatives, have sued to block the state’s new congressional map, saying it's constitutionally flawed because of population deviations, too much splitting of municipal lines and the carving up of “communities of interest.”

It alleges that the commission drew the map arbitrarily and inconsistently applied redistricting criteria in the state constitution.

Jon Eguia is an economics professor at Michigan State University and a redistricting expert. He thought population inequality between districts might be an issue with these maps.

“So, for the congressional maps on partisan fairness yes they are much better they don't favor or disfavor a party but then they have some technical flaw on population equality they don't bring the districts to exactly equal population," Eguia said. “It sounds like nitpicking but the courts have been nitpicky so we're concerned that over something that is not controversial it's just a matter of finessing the details the courts might strike it down.”

State Representative Beau LaFave is among those suing over the maps. In a separate lawsuit, several Detroit-area lawmakers are challenging the maps due to lines that – they say – violate the Voting Rights Act.